Rick Santorum Won in Iowa! Or, How Much Difference Can Just One Delegate Make?

To those in states with Primaries, the entire Caucus system seems confusing. We stayed up until 2:00 AM to watch the media proclaim Mitt Romney the winner by 8 votes. But the popular vote is not what counts. What counts is the delegates sent to the national Republican convention. While nothing is certified at this point and things can change, it appears that Rick Santorum might have one more delegate than Mitt Romney. How?

The widely publicized vote is actually a straw poll. http://www.iowacaucus.biz/IA_Caucus_Howitworks.html The votes are actually for delegates to a state convention on March 10. At this convention, these delegates will vote for the national delegates. Since they are morally pledged to their candidates, it seems the widely proclaimed Romney 13 delegates, Santorum 12 delegates will be the final outcome, plus Superdelegates (delegates picked by the state Republican convention). Not so fast.

First, at least 2 Ron Paul supporters monitoring vote counts have claimed errors in the vote counts. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/05/santorum-vote-count-error-in-iowa-is-no-big-deal/ The vote counts are not certified, so the totals, and the winners, could change.

Second, in another long shot, Michele Bachmann could attempt to transfer her few votes to Rick Santorum. While there is a lot of buzz about this on the Internet, none of the candidates in the Republican Party has commented on this possibility. The talk has ranged from “almost a done deal” to “not legal, not possible.” It is legal and possible because the state delegates pledged to Michele Bachmann now have no one to vote for and no legal requirement to vote for anyone in particular.

Third is the important part. From state party workers on caucus night, to county caucus, to state caucus, to national convention, these thousands of workers are all volunteers. This heavy time requirement means some of these delegates, especially on the state and county levels, will be unable to attend and vote. Alternates will fill these positions. The state party attempts to fill these empty delegate positions with alternates pledged to the same candidate so the missing delegates are not even noticed. This year saw a massive change. Ron Paul had a well-planned and well-executed plan to grab all the alternate slots throughout Iowa. Because of the late, close race many Rick Santorum supporters stuck around to provide enough Rick Santorum alternates. So if Ron Paul picks up some county delegates, at whose expense will they come? Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. It is almost certain that Ron Paul will gain some county delegates. The big question is will Ron Paul gain from this strategy or will Rick Santorum be the only beneficiary?

2 Comments

Filed under Current Issues, Politics, History

2 responses to “Rick Santorum Won in Iowa! Or, How Much Difference Can Just One Delegate Make?

  1. Pingback: List of Blog Entries by Subject (The same blog post may appear under multiple categories) | Elk Jerky for the Soul

  2. whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You know, many people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

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